Indian Point Nuclear Plant emergency procedures won’t be good enough
Former NRC Chair: Emergency Plans Won’t Protect Residents from Radiation Huff Post , Roger Witherspoon, 8 Oct 13 The former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said yesterday that emergency plans for a catastrophic event at the Indian Point nuclear power plant are not designed to ensure that residents will escape unhealthy doses of radiation and it would be best if the plant closes down.
Gregory Jaczko, who led the five-member commission during the triple meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station and resigned last year after intense clashes with the industry and the other four commissioners, said in a wide-ranging interview that:
- Emergency plans for Indian Point only teach officials how to make the best decisions in a bad situation and minimize the extent of contamination for those within 10 miles of the Hudson River site. The plans will do nothing to protect the 21 million people living within 50 miles, including New York City, northern New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and western Connecticut.
- With the exception of Allison M. Macfarlane, his replacement as NRC Chair, the four commissioners “were brought onto the commission because they were more interested in looking at the impact of regulations on the industry rather than on the possible impact on the safety of the public.”
- The agency’s risk assessment, which undergirds its regulatory structure and determines what practices are safe, is seriously flawed because of a basic assumption that worst case scenarios cannot happen. As a result, there is little thought given to the consequences of accidents — even though it is certain that some will occur.
- Because the consequences of a meltdown at Indian Point are incalculably catastrophic, it would be best if the plant were closed.
“I’ve seen a lot of plants over the years battle states,” said Jaczko in his first extended interview since resigning in 2012.
Jaczko will be in New York City Tuesday and in Boston Wednesday to participate in the third international forum on the lessons learned by the ongoing catastrophe at Fukushima and the implications for local nuclear communities. The forum Tuesday, beginning at 9 AM at the 92nd Street Y, will include Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan during the first year of the ongoing Fukushima disaster; Peter Bradford, an NRC Commissioner during the Three Mile Island partial meltdown and former member of the Public Service Commissions of both New York and Vermont; nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen; and consumer advocate Ralph Nader. The panel will be moderated by Paul Gallay, head of the environmental group, Riverkeeper, which is challenging the operation of Indian Point in state and federal legal proceedings. It will be available on livestream.
Wednesday’s session will be at the Massachusetts State House, sponsored by civic groups and citizens concerned about operations at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant. It can be heard via livestream. Further details are available at www.Facebook.com/FukushimaLessons.
For Kan, closing reactors is a mission, almost atonement for the calamity caused by the meltdowns at Fukushima. Kan, speaking through an interpreter, said part of what drives him involves the sheer scale of the nuclear disaster to hit his land.
“Fukushima Daiichi has old reactors, just like Indian Point,” said Kan in a late night interview…….http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roger-witherspoon/former-nrc-chair-emergenc_b_4060780.html
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